United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AND FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
ALLISON CLAIRE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
is a state prisoner at the Correctional Health Care Facility
(CHCF), under the authority of the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), who is provided
medical and mental health care under the umbrella services of
CDCR’s California Correctional Health Care Services
(CCHCS). Plaintiff proceeds pro se with a complaint filed
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, together with a request
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915. This proceeding was referred to this court by
Local Rule 302, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
has submitted a declaration that makes the showing required
by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). Accordingly, plaintiff’s
request to proceed in forma pauperis will be granted.
court must dismiss a complaint if the prisoner has raised
claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious,
” fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2). A
claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d
1221, 1227-28 (9th Cir. 1984). A pro se litigant is entitled
to notice of the deficiencies in the complaint and an
opportunity to amend, unless the complaint’s
deficiencies cannot be cured by amendment. Noll v.
Carlson, 809 F.2d 1446, 1448 (9th Cir. 1987).
instant case, plaintiff seeks to challenge the suspected
disclosure of his confidential medical, mental health and/or
custodial information to unknown recipients due to the
February 25, 2016 theft of an unencrypted laptop from the
personal vehicle of a CCHCS employee. The possible disclosure
was identified as a “potential breach” on April
25, 2016, and inmates were informed by letter dated May 16,
2016. Plaintiff alleges that this “potential
breach” violated his rights under California’s
Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA), Cal. Civ.
Code §§ 56 et seq., and constituted
“deliberate indifference to plaintiff’s medical
privacy rights” under the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution, pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. The only named defendant is the
“California Correctional Health Care Department.”
Plaintiff seeks $250, 000 in damages. Plaintiff avers that no
prison administrative remedy was “available” to
him to grieve this matter. See 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(a) (the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requires
that prisoners exhaust all available administrative remedies
before commencing a civil suit).
threshold matter, the speculative allegations of the
complaint fail to meet the “plausibility”
requirement for stating a cognizable claim for relief. Rule
8, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “demands more than
an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To survive dismissal for failure
to state a claim, “a complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.’”
Iqbal at 678 (quoting Twombly at 570). Here
it is not clear that plaintiff’s confidential
information was inappropriately disclosed to a third party.
importantly, the complaint fails to state a cognizable
federal claim. Section 1983 accords individuals the right to
pursue a civil action against a state actor who has violated
his or federal constitutional or statutory rights.
See 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Galen v. County of
Los Angeles, 477 F.3d 652, 662 (9th Cir. 2007)
(“Section 1983 requires [plaintiff ] to demonstrate a
violation of federal law, not state law.”). Here
plaintiff’s complaint rests on an alleged violation of
California’s CMIA, a state law. The CMIA does not
provide a basis for federal jurisdiction. See Huling v.
City of Los Banos, 869 F.Supp.2d 1139, 1154 (E.D. Cal.
2012) (“California’s [CMIA] is a state law.
Section 1983 provides a civil action against state actors who
violate federal constitutional or federal statutory rights,
not state law.”) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and
Galen, 477 F.3d at 662.).
the federal equivalent of CMIA, the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Pub. L.
No. 104-191, 110 Stat. 1936 (1996), provides no private right
of action, United States v. Streich, 560 F.3d 926,
935 (9th Cir. 2009), and therefore cannot provide grounds for
a Section 1983 claim. See Huling, 869 F.Supp.2d at
1154 (citations omitted).
these reasons, this court finds that the allegations of the
complaint fail to state a federal claim,  and that the
deficiencies cannot be cured by amendment. “A district
court may deny leave to amend when amendment would be
futile.” Hartmann v. CDCR, 707 F.3d 1114, 1130
(9th Cir. 2013). Further, because plaintiff has failed to
state a cognizable claim for relief under federal law, this
court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over plaintiffs putative state law claim. See Ove v.
Gwinn, 264 F.3d 817, 826 (9th Cir. 2001) (district court
has discretion to decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over state law claims upon dismissal of all
claims over which it has original jurisdiction).
these reasons, this court recommends that this action be
dismissed without leave to amend.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis, ECF No. 2, is
Plaintiff is obligated to pay the statutory filing fee of
$350.00 for this action. Plaintiff is assessed an initial
partial filing fee in accordance with the provisions of 28
U.S.C. §1915(b)(1). All fees shall be collected and paid
in accordance with this court’s order to the Director